Dry Eye Conditions

Because a Dry Eye Condition can be caused by a number of varying tear disorders no one drop will cover all the requirements for each type, and it is not easy to decide on whether the symptoms are created by tear flow, drainage or tear composition.  This is why one type of drop will provide better and longer lasting results in one person whilst not giving the same relief to all.

Often the problem is exacerbated by poor blinking in as much as the blink rate is slow and the surface of the eye is not recovered in tears and debris cleared away.  This is a vicious circle as the less blinking occurs the more uncomfortable it is to blink on a dry eye.  The more we concentrate in driving, or using a VDU or watching a movie film, the less we blink.

Low blink rate behaviour occurs with activities that involve intense concentration. Reading, computer work, driving at 50 km/h and driving at 100 km/h have been shown to reduce the blink rate by 53%, 66%, 45% and 68%, respectively. So when at work remember every 20 minutes, to take 20 seconds break away from the screen and blink 20 times you will be surprised how we refreshed your eyes feel. Let’s call it the 20:20:20 blink rule for VDU users. Other areas creating problems are those with dry humidity or convection fans like offices, aeroplanes and car demisters.

Environments that have a low relative humidity (below 40-60%) are also a risk factor for the development of dry eye. The relative humidity of an aircraft cabin is particularly low (5-20%) and dry eye symptoms are reported by about 72% of pilots during flights.

Even with the best environments it is now recognised that many of us suffer from Dry Eye needlessly and the first attempts to alter this complaint should be by checking out your tear flow at your opticians.  Ask for a tear break up test to confirm a lack of tear coverage during poor blinking.

The next action will be to try some different eye drops.

It is possible to try these as samples to find out which type gives the longest lasting relief.

The crucial thing to discover is that dry eye differs depending on its root cause. So if you suffer from discomfort due to hormonal changes, a low blink rate, allergies, wearing contact lenses or low tear production, there is now an eye drop that can really help.  It could make all the difference to your day.

One Golden rule is to ensure you use eye drops with NO preservatives within them.

Visit an optometrist to check for Blepharitis, or other rarer problems such as Sjogren’s Syndrome. Early menopausal changes are often related.

Constant dry eyes with no treatment can damage your cornea so don’t put up with it.